Haunted Honeymoon

Joe R. Lansdale and ‘Christmas for the Dead’ heads to big screen

Joe R. Lansdale, prolific author of such notable stories as the “Hap and Leonard” series of novels, “The Bottom’s” and the unforgettable “Bubba Ho-Tep,” the first of his works to be made into a movie, is about to bring his very own zombies to the big screen. Lansdale’s latest short story, to be released in early 2011, is ready to be made into a movie: Christmas with the Dead. The author has previous undead entries with “Dead in the West”, “On the Far Side of the Cadillac Desert With Dead Folks,” and most recently “Deadman’s Road,” as well as an entry in BOOM!’s comic, “Zombie Tales”.

In addition to Lansdale, who will act as executive producer, already signed on to the project are Damian Maffei (Closed for the Season) as the lead, Brian James Fitzpatrick (Throwaway) who is set to direct, and Marcus Koch (Sweatshop, 100 Tears) with Oddtopsy F/X who is scheduled to create the special effects for the movie.

Shooting is scheduled to begin this June in Nacogdoches, Texas, where Lansdale has lived with his wife for the past thirty years. In a nod to Joe’s affiliation as writer-in-residence at the Stephen F. Austin University, Lansdale will be employing the use of many of the students, as well as the use of some of the school’s state of the art equipment. Joe sees this association with the university as an opportunity to give the students a hands-on film-making experience.

“Based on my short story of the same name, Christmas with the Dead is now in pre-production,” said Lansdale. “I’m excited about it moving forward and very fortunate to have some fine people at the helm. I’m looking forward to begin filming this summer.”

Fitzpatrick is thrilled to be part of the project. “It’s all coming together very quickly – taking on a life of its own – which I think is what happens with strong projects where everyone has the same vision; the same passion. And a Lansdale zombie movie is pretty damn strong.”

As for the merry movie and the plight of it’s hero:
“It was a foolish thing to do, and Calvin had not bothered with it the past two years, not since the death of his wife and child. But this year he decided quite suddenly, that tomorrow was Christmas Eve. And zombies be damned, the lights and decorations are going up…”

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